Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bush III?

Senator McCain deeply resents being called "Bush III". How justified is that title? Let's take a look...

Religion. Bush is famous for his religious devotion; it comes up in every speech. Bush III? "I am a proud Christian who believes deeply in Jesus Christ." That faith is the basis for Bush's decisions and programs, as witness his "Faith based initiatives". Bush III? He would expand the Faith based initiatives; he gave a speech about it on Father's Day. And they have the same opinion of gay marriage- in 2004, Bush III said, "Gays ... should not marry." And in a 2007 Senate debate, he said: "I agree with most Americans, with Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Cheney, with over 2,000 religious leaders ... Personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman." Abstinence education? Bush III's on board.

Economics. Bush III voted for Bush's budgets, which included 19 spending bills. Bush III told reporters that he agreed with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Bush's bailout package, then voted for the $700 billion plan. Although he initially opposed Bush's tax cuts, Bush III now has his own tax cut plans, and his stump speeches sound a whole lot like these 2001 quotes from President Bush: "Tax relief is an achievement for families struggling to enter the middle class. For hard-working lower-income families, we have cut the bottom rate of federal income tax from 15 percent to 10 percent. We doubled the per-child tax credit to $1,000, and made it refundable. ... Tax relief is an achievement for middle-class families squeezed by high energy prices and credit card debt."

Civil Liberties. Of the Senate bill passage that rewrote intelligence laws to grant immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration's wiretapping program, Bush said: "This vital intelligence bill will allow our national security professionals to quickly and effectively monitor the plans of terrorists outside the United States, while respecting the liberties of the American people." Bush III? "Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people." Like Bush, Bush III supports capital punishment, saying in 2006, "I believe there are some crimes -- mass murder, the rape and murder of a child -- so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment." And Bush III voted yes on preauthorizing the Patriot Act, sought by the Bush administration.

Race. Bush III's campaign literature states that he will call for a ban on racial profiling, even though Bush issued a directive that banned racial profiling in 2001. Bush III adopted the Congressional principles "to increase minority homeownership" as it is "one of the best wealth-creation vehicles for minority families." These principles were developed as part of Bush's vision to expand minority homeownership to 5.5 million new homeowners by 2010. "Across our nation, every citizen, regardless of race, creed, color or place of birth, should have the opportunity to become a homeowner," Bush said. Similar comparisons can be drawn for their positions on small businesses and on businesses owned by women and minorities. President Bush says that Affirmative Action is "fundamentally flawed"- because it depended solely on race. Bush has said other factors, such as socioeconomic status, should be considered, which would include poor white students. Bush III agrees, wanting to "...change the focus of affirmative action policies in higher education -- away from race to economic class."

Energy. In signing the $12.3 billion Energy Policy Act of 2005, Bush said it "promotes dependable, affordable, and environmentally sound production and distribution of energy for America's future." Bush III voted for the energy plan and called it a "first step toward decreasing America's dependence on foreign oil." Bush has consistently pushed for drilling offshore; Bush III agrees: "We're going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling."

Social issues. Bush III boasted this summer that he "passed a law to move people from welfare to work" and "slashed the rolls by 80 percent" (though all states had to as a result of the Clinton administration's mandate). Despite his past endorsements of some gun control measures, Bush III's reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutional right of individuals to own handguns mirrors the administration's. Bush and Bush III agree that the problem with health care is "about affordability" and there is a need to address minority health concerns with more coverage and targeting. That is why Bush expanded community health care centers, covering the uninsured and targeting urban areas, to the tune of $1.5 billion for 1,200 centers "coast to coast." And Bush III has given Bush kudos for his efforts to combat global AIDS and the record amount of funding ($15 billion over 5 years) the president has earmarked for the fight. "I think President Bush -- and many of you here today -- have shown real leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

The second most remarkable thing about Bush III is how closely he mirror's President Bush, in all these areas and many more there isn't really time and space for. But the MOST remarkable thing is that every one of the quotes and positions cited above for "Bush III" are Senator Obama's! See Commentary: Obama and Bush are not so far apart (I chose a CNN Commentary because I knew that many of you would neither read nor believe a Fox or National Review story)

Both parties talk about change. McCain's change would be re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Obama's change would be much more extensive- more like completely redecorating the Grand Ballroom on the Titanic. There will never be substantive change as long as our discussions begin as this paragraph did- "both". The Indiana ballot does not have "both" parties on it; it has five parties on it, not that you'd ever know that from listening to the mainstream media. How about looking at some of them, instead of letting the Big Party Matadors dazzle you with their "race" and "sex" and "charismatic" and "experienced" capes?

Yeah, yeah, I know, this year is too important to waste by voting for a fringe candidate. Yeah, so was last election. And the one before that. And the one before that, ad infinitum. And as long as you keep buying that, you'll keep getting status quo, no matter how bad the need for improvement. Indeed, the Big Parties would be fools to offer change as long as you keep voting for them as is; ask any behaviorist- change occurs only when it becomes painful not to. And after all, it's not like the UUs aren't used to supporting or being the fringe...

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